NEPC seeks support from stakeholders to promote non-oil exports – WorldStage
WorldStage Newsonline– The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has reaffirmed its commitment to working with key stakeholders to develop and promote the non-oil export sector.
NEPC Executive Secretary Dr. Ezra Yakusak said this during the Interactive Dinner for Ambassadors/High Commissioners and Development Partners to Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
According to Yakusak, the NEPC cannot carry out its functions effectively without the individual or collective support of the emissaries.
Describing them as key partners in the implementation of NEPC’s programs and policies as a trade promotion organization, Yakusak said this has further informed the willingness to open channels of interface with them on a regular basis.
He said NEPC travel for international engagements such as trade fairs, trade missions, solo exhibitions, meetings, market research, exhibitions, trade and investment summits could not be possible without the support of embassies, especially in the processing of visas.
“We have had occasions where our trade fairs have been marred by the denial of visas to selected exporters and our staff.
“Most of them happen at the last minute when all the other arrangements have been made, which makes it difficult for us to run these programs successfully.
“This is a critical area where your Excellencies can be of immense advice in our efforts to introduce Nigerian products to the international market.
“So I expect that after this interaction there will be a seamless exchange of information between the council and the various goods and services that Nigeria might trade with your countries,” Yakusak said.
He however expressed the Council’s desire to facilitate the acquisition by small and medium enterprises of an international certification to access the non-oil market with premium prices.
According to Yakusak, the NEPC initiated the Nigerian competitiveness project titled “Go certification”.
“The program aims to bring the many cases of export rejections under control and also to ensure that a minimum standard of food safety is maintained in line with international best practice.
“As of now, a total of 101 certifications have been issued to various exporting SMEs, with NEPC bearing the entire cost of such certifications such as HACCP, FDA, ISO 22000 and HALAL,” Yakusak said.
He further said that the NEPC had initiated the establishment of export trading houses under a public-private partnership agreement to further enhance the visibility of Nigerian-made products, facilitate market access and increase market share.
Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo called the NEPC initiative to promote non-oil exports and increase market share proactive and urged other agencies in the ministry to imitate this action.
Represented by Mr. Suleiman Audu, Director of Commodities and Exports Department of the Ministry, Adebayo said, “This particularly concerns the development of the economy and the fact that we have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with all the challenges.
Likewise, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in his goodwill message, appreciated the initiative and assured the Ministry’s continued collaboration with NEPC in promoting non-oil exports.
“Trade is a formidable instrument of foreign policy. Thus, there must continue to be an interaction between the political aspect and the economic aspect represented by trade and investment.
“Thus, we provide a good platform for our missions abroad to represent Nigerian economic interests and for the headquarters here to mobilize foreign missions in Nigeria for the progress of our economic policy,” he said. .
Onyeama was represented by Mr. Bolaji Akinremi, Director of Economic Trade and Investments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking on behalf of the Ambassadors, Amb. Salaudeen Abbas, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria, assured the support of the international community to cooperate with Nigeria in strengthening international trade relations.
“In my 14 years in Nigeria, this is the very first time this type of event has been organized and I am optimistic about the positive results it will attract. “We are committed to transparent interactions that would foster the development and diversification of Nigeria’s export trade,” Abbas said.